16.000 x 12.000 x 0.020 inches
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Canyon Dechelly Whitehouse Ruins
Bob and Nadine Johnston
Digital Art - Fine Art Available On Canvas Or Prints And Gift/note Cards
The Ancient Pueblo were one of four major prehistoric archaeological traditions recognized in the American Southwest, sometimes referred to as Oasisamerica. The others are the Mogollon, Hohokam and Patayan. In relation to neighboring cultures, the Ancient Pueblo occupied the northeast quadrant of the area. The Ancient Pueblo homeland centers on the Colorado Plateau, but extends from central New Mexico on the east to southern Nevada on the west.
Areas of southern Nevada, Utah and Colorado form a loose northern boundary, while the southern edge is defined by the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers in Arizona and the Rio Puerco and Rio Grande in New Mexico. Structures and other evidence of Ancient Pueblo culture has been found extending east onto the American Great Plains, in areas near the Cimarron and Pecos rivers and in the Galisteo Basin.
Terrain and resources within this expansive region vary greatly. The plateau regions have high elevations ranging from 4500 to 8,500 feet. Extensive horizontal mesas are capped by sedimentary formations and support woodlands of junipers, pinon, and ponderosa pines, each favoring different elevations. Wind and water erosion have created steep-walled canyons, and sculpted windows and bridges out of the sandstone landscape. In areas where resistant strata (sedimentary rock layers), such as sandstone or limestone, overlie more easily eroded strata such as shale, rock overhangs formed. The Ancient Pueblo favored building under such overhangs for shelters and building sites.
All areas of the Ancient Pueblo homeland suffered from periods of drought, and wind and water erosion. Summer rains could be undependable and often arrived as destructive thunderstorms. While the amount of winter snowfall varied greatly, the Ancient Pueblo depended on the snow for most of their water. Snow melt allowed the germination of seeds, both wild and cultivated, in the spring.
Where sandstone layers overlay shale, snow melt could accumulate and create seeps and springs, which the Ancient Pueblo used as water sources. Snow also fed the smaller, more predictable tributaries, such as the Chinle, Animas, Jemez and Taos rivers. The larger rivers were less important to the ancient culture, as smaller streams were more easily diverted or controlled for irrigation.
October 20th, 2012
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